By Paul McCaffrey
Describes how Ruth Bader Ginsburg overcame discrimination and tragedy to develop into the second one woman justice at the U.S. preferrred courtroom.
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Additional resources for Ruth Bader Ginsburg: U.S. Supreme Court Justice (Women of Achievement)
For the 1950s, the Ginsburgs ran an unconventional household, with both husband and wife sharing duties normally reserved for the woman. The couple discovered early in their marriage that Martin was the better chef. ”11 Finding a Way As Martin completed his service in the army, Ruth reapplied to Harvard Law School and was again accepted. After Martin was discharged in 1956, the young family moved back east to Cambridge, Massachusetts, so that both mother and father could take up their studies at Harvard.
As she recalled, “Women were not admitted to the Harvard Faculty Club dining tables. ”15 The periodicals room at Harvard’s Lamont Library was not open to women. This caused Ginsburg some difficulty one night when she needed to confirm a reference there. The guard would not allow her to enter and refused to bring the journal in question to • 31 32 • Ruth Bader Ginsburg her at the door. Finally, she had to find a male student to go in and obtain the source for her. With so few women at the law school, the few in attendance always stuck out.
So during the first months of her pregnancy, she disguised her condition with oversized clothing. By the time she could no longer hide it, Rutgers had already renewed her contract. James’s birth was well timed, and Ginsburg only had to miss a couple of weeks of class before returning to her teaching duties. With a newborn, a daughter in grade school, a husband, and a flourishing teaching career, Ginsburg had considerable responsibilities. When her aging father moved in for a number of months to recover from a car accident not long after James was born, she had even more things to manage.